By Lynn Andriani
If you have salt, pepper and olive oil on hand, all you need are a few more items, and you're well on your way to eight amazing dishes you'll be making all season long.
Pork chops that are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, bursting with the rich flavor of oregano and rosemary may sound like a strictly-weekend, multi-step affair. But Melia Marden, executive chef at New York restaurant The Smile
and author of the new book Modern Mediterranean
, shows us that it's totally doable in less than a half-hour.
Get the recipe: Rosemary & Oregano Pork Chops
The best thing about this ridiculously easy pasta dish from Marden is that you can eat it straight from the stove or serve it at room temperature for barbecues or picnics. Use a mixture of red and yellow cherry tomatoes if you can find them; they look fantastic alongside torn basil leaves and small chunks of fresh mozzarella.
Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
Banish the thought of overcooked, mushy string beans: In this smart recipe, Marden cooks the beans in a small amount of water until they're just tender but still bright green. Then, she removes them, dries the pan and flash-fries the vegetables in olive oil until they're slightly charred all over. The finishing touch: garnishes of fried shallots, chopped basil and crumbled pecorino cheese.
Get the recipe: String Beans with Fried Shallots, Pecorino & Basil
Beefsteak tomatoes stuffed with sauteed onion and garlic, ground beef, rice and dill are staples in Greek tavernas, Marden says. Cooks make them in the morning and keep them in a heated display case that's just slightly above room temperature, so if you order one in the afternoon or evening, it's perfectly plump and juicy. If you make yours ahead of time, you can refrigerate them -- and just warm them gently in the oven before serving.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes
Some marinade recipes have a mile-long ingredient list, but this one relies on just a few items -- and each of them delivers super flavor. Lime juice and chili powder are two of the key players that make this a perfect warm-weather grilled chicken dish.
Get the recipe: Mustard-Lime Chicken
No limp, soggy slices of zucchini here: For this vegetarian dish, you cut the squash into long, thin matchsticks. Since there's less surface area, the zucchini keeps its bite and becomes just a little soft when you saute it with olive oil, chili, garlic and lemon zest. The recipe calls for gluten-free spaghetti, but you can substitute whatever kind you like.
Get the recipe: Zucchini, Garlic and Lemon Spaghetti
When you have better things to do than spend hours in the kitchen, turn to this quick supper: All you need to do is thread shrimp on wooden sticks, cover them in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt, and throw them in the fridge for a few hours. When it's time to eat, grill for about 3 minutes per side -- and enjoy with guacamole and margaritas.
Get the recipe: Spicy Citrus Grilled Shrimp
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